The live vs. livelihoods dilemma was central to the pandemic response choices the Bangladesh government had to make, which gave rise to much of the woes of its vulnerable citizens. In this project our research will focus on four intersecting areas:
1. Managing the trade-offs between public health and economic development policies
Why the government had to make these difficult trade-offs, what trade-offs have been made, and focus on what post-pandemic public health measures, if any, the government is taking to prevent such difficult trade-offs in future crisis situations.
2. Trust, governance, and performance of institutions and systems responsible for delivering social protection and relief services during Covid-19 and the post-pandemic reform/system rebuilding
Looking at the government’s social security and relief mechanism, which are required to safeguard people in case of a public health or any other type of large-scale crisis. BIGD will critically reflect on the performance and limitations of these mechanisms during and post-covid period and try to identify whether and what reforms the government is making in light of the crisis the nation faced and in the face of eroding citizen’s trust on the government in this regard.
3. Governance from below: Understanding the resilience and response of communities during crises like Covid-19 in low-resource contexts
Looking at the possible community solutions, more specifically, in the absence of strong government mechanisms and capacities, how ‘governance from below’ and community action can effectively contribute to and complement the actions of other agencies in managing future crises like this.
4. The impact of Covid-19 on micro-finance borrowers
Looking at the situation of the poor microcredit clients who could not repay their loan on time because of the crisis and try to identify ways of reintegrating them into the formal credit market.